SSVP was started by young people way back in 1833, that’s why we think it’s so important to have young people involved. Senior Vinnies are SSVP groups based in Secondary schools and are the eldest branch of our Vincentian Youth family tree. They range from S4-S6 and meet together with a teacher or teaching assistant supporting them.
The main purpose is to help anyone one need by following our “See Think, Do” plan.
- SEE: Look around your school and local community to see who needs help.
- THINK: Plan how you could help.
- …and DO it!
It also provides wonderful opportunities for young people to share ideas and concerns, to have fun, learn ,pray and support each other. The SSVP model of faith in action is a great way to assist young people with thinking and talking about their spirituality – connecting their beliefs and values with service activities and issues in their community can help to make their faith real, meaningful and relevant.
Why join Senior Vinnies?
Becoming a Senior Vinnie is a great idea! It allows you to help other people which always helps you to know yourself better.
At the senior stage of school, faith is important as you prepare to leave school and move into the world of further learning or work. Developing that faith by helping others through SSVP provides a sense of belonging which can last right into adulthood in a parish Conference. Your good works with Senior Vinnies will also contribute to your Caritas award in S6.
It can provide excellent experience in organising and participating in meetings. Understanding how professional meetings work and being able to demonstrate knowledge of roles and responsibilities is something which will be a useful life skill for your CV. You will also gain skills in interacting with members of the community as you carry out your helping work and find yourself growing in confidence. This is something which cannot be taught in a classroom but which is so important in preparing to be part of the world of work.
When you join Senior Vinnies, you will get your own badge, prayer card and pencil. Being a Senior Vinnie is challenging, enjoyable and brings many new experiences. You will attend meetings led by a teacher or another adult from the school or parish, (usually lunch time or after school), help with planning activities, then give your time to help other people. Helping others always makes you feel good!
Starting a Senior Vinnies Group
Would you like to start a Senior Vinnies group in your school or parish? We’re here to help!
What you need
- Regular group meetings – at least fortnightly. These can be at lunchtime or after school. If a whole class forms the group, meetings can be anytime in the school day.
- An adult who can act as Group Adviser to provide support and guidance.
- A President and secretary elected by secret ballot. Other roles such as vice president and treasurer can be assumed when necessary.
- Our Senior Vinnie Guidebook,(link) Click to download or request by email email@example.com If you would like a printed copy posted please let us know.
And you’re good to go….don’t forget
To contact us to let us know your group exists. We want to work with you providing support along the way and sharing your great works. We can’t do that if we don’t know you’re there. And we want to send you badges and pencils. The badges carry our new logo: being a Senior Vinnie is indeed something to be proud of!
Senior Vinnies in Action
“I love meeting other Senior Vinnies and feeling that I belong to an organisation who’s motivation is care for others.”
“Senior Vinnies showed me I was more of a people person than I had thought.”
“Being a Senior Vinnie is something I can talk proudly of at job interviews.”
“I’ve learned how to plan events successfully and how to participate in meetings.”